Discover the popular part-time job choice of 7-11 amongst foreign students [Part 2/2] ~An interview with the shop manager~

2017.03.14 update
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Previously in part 1, we had Mr.Patak who is from Nepal.(Click the link to go back
In this article, we invited the manager, Mr. Suzuki, to share some of his opinions with us. He is only 24 years old and already leading 25 employees including 19 foreign students. Nevertheless, he was so humble, and one could notice how great the atmosphere of the shop is maintained.

Working part time at a Seven-Eleven

Regardless of nationalities and languages

Q. Were there a fair amount of foreign students in the past?
As a matter of fact, there are more foreign students at our store now than ever before. Specifically, the numbers have been increasing since April 2016. Most of the candidates are usually introduced by our current workers, and this is how our human resource flow has been built. Plus, there were not any rejections so far after hiring. It is completely different from what I’ve heard. That saying foreign students tend to quit easily, but there is not such a thing at all.

Q. How is the work of foreign students?
After working together, I didn’t feel any difference based on foreign languages and nationality in a good way.
Believe or not, they are working much harder than the Japanese students. I was so amazed by their absorptive capacity. Earning money is not the only thing they are here for, they are the truly aggressive learner. No matter if your Japanese level is high or low, you are welcomed if you have a passion for wanting to work. It will take only 1~2 months to get used to working. Furthermore, Japanese students are motivated by the foreign students at the same time and this is the main reason that advances our store.
Also, they are very friendly and never behaves unkind to our regular customers. Thanks to them we often receive many good comments on our services.

Q. Have you had any troubles so far?
I don't consider it as a serious trouble, however, there was one thing I have told them before. They couldn’t help using their first languages during a midnight shift or when there were no customers around. Perhaps some customers would be uncomfortable with that, so I pointed this out not only for work but also encouraging them to use more Japanese to improve speaking abilities. Since then everyone is using Japanese when they are working.
We'd love to work and create a better shop with foreign students who have passions

We'd love to work and create a better store with foreign students who are passionate about learning

Q. Is there anything you have to pay more attention to foreign students?
It is not just with foreign international students, everyone gets exhausted and tired easily when you are doing the same thing repeatedly. To avoid these kinds of situations, I usually give them new tasks based on their learning speed. It won’t be done with teaching by words, checking and reviewing together is also important in the progress. As a result, this way does help them remember new things.

Q. How do you overcome the language barrier?
All members are really close to each other, and it makes us a great team. Especially one of our members who is from Myanmar and in charge of organizing work schedule. He is always teaching and helping newcomers with patience. If other members do not understand my directions, he will explain again which makes the communication much more smooth. The manuals for the workers are also written in Japanese, but they help each other to make sure everyone understands the rules.
We are also hanging out and texting on SNS in private. I’m truly having a great time rather than considering as a work. (lol)
Inside 7-11

Please give a try and despite your Japanese abilities

Q. What do you value the most during the interview?
From my perspectives, the outgoing and open-minded attitude is the top of my list. To narrow it down, the person who has friendly smiles behaves politely and speaks with a firm voice is the ideal member we are looking for.
I’ve mentioned before that you don’t have to be worried about whether there are any standards for your Japanese abilities. We will be happy to teach you the sentence we use a lot with customers.

Q. Are there any possibilities of being rejected by phone before the interview?
Basically, it won’t happen. I’ve interviewed plenty of foreign students, and there was one thing I noticed. That even if the phone conversation was not smooth, many candidates impressed me during the interview. If you are willing to work here, we’d love to meet you in person.

Do you have any advice for foreign students who are still hesitating whether to work part-time?
I assume that perhaps some people would wonder if they have qualified Japanese skills to work at 7-11 or some other reasons. However depending on my experiences so far, those kinds of concerns would be easily surpassed as long as one has the motivation. Please give yourself a try.

Finally, please advise the recruiters of companies that have never adopted foreign students
I would like to encourage recruiters to discover potentials of foreign students instead of sticking with stereotypes. Please take some time and be inspired by their passions. It might be tough at first, but if one is taught well, it is going to be fine. And you will be able to get new workers as well. While you still have hesitations, I assure that it is a waste not to borrow the power of foreign students.

[Company Profile]
· Company name
Seven - Eleven Japan Co., Ltd.
· Headquarters location
8, Nibancho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 8
· Business contents
Convenience store business

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